1 March 2004

Aston Martin’s DB9 will undercut its nearest rivals, the Bentley Continental GT and Merc CL 65 AMG, when sales start this spring. The DB9 coupé will cost £103,000 at launch in April and the Volante convertible (pictured) £112,000 when it arrives in October. That pitches the 2+2 some £7000 cheaper than the Bentley and £13k less than the Merc.

Developed around an all-new core construction known as the VH platform, the new DB9 is 25 per cent lighter than the car it replaces, but twice as rigid. Powered by a revised 6.0-litre V12 borrowed from the Vanquish supercar, it's capable of 186mph and sixty in 4.7 seconds. The DB9 will be followed into dealerships by Aston's forthcoming 911-chasing V8 Vantage early next year, and a replacement for the current Vanquish by 2007.

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